Ilmor Engineering Buys Scorpion Racing Engines

Ilmor's acquisition of Scorpion will allow it to produce engines for the Super Boat International Racing circuit.

20th April 2014.
By Matt Trulio

Scorpion Racing Engines, the Livonia, MI, high-performance engine building outfit that has established a reputation by building 750-horsepower engines for the Superboat class of Super Boat International Racing (SBI), has been acquired by Ilmor Engineering in nearby Plymouth, MI.

Stihl is one of several Superboat-class teams that will run Scorpion Racing Engines, now under Ilmor ownership, on the SBI circuit this season. Photo by Jay Nichols.

Stihl is one of several Superboat-class teams that will run Scorpion Racing Engines, now under Ilmor ownership, on the SBI circuit this season. Photo by Jay Nichols.

In addition to supplying inboard engines to tow-boat building giant MasterCraft, Ilmor offers high-performance engines from 570 to 725 horsepower for go-fast boats.

Although Ilmor has made a substantial impact in the performance powerboat market with its V-10 engines since it was founded in 2002, the company has been unable to enter the offshore racing world under the current technical rules of SBI, which is the sport’s leading circuit in the United States. The acquisition of Scorpion changes that, and Ilmor will bring Scorpion Racing’s production in-house.

“The way the rules are written, there is no entry point for us with the V-10 unless we want to run in the Superboat Unlimited class, and we simply don’t have the power,” says Paul Ray, president of Ilmor Marine, adding, “Buying Scorpion Racing Engines gives us the opportunity we’ve always wanted to get into offshore racing in the States.

“We will now be a player in domestic offshore boat racing—we were already a player in endurance powerboat racing in the European racing scene. This gives us a great opportunity to get involved and get serious about offshore racing.”

Several notable offshore racing teams in the rapidly expanding Superboat-class field, such as Broadco, Stihl, Instigator, Cleveland Construction, and Spirit of Qatar 20, currently use Scorpion Power. Ray emphasized that the commitment to quality and service will not change with the acquisition.

“Phil Harper, Scorpion’s majority owner and engine builder, will be joining Ilmor and working closely with our existing marine build team,” Ray says. “We welcome Phil and Marc Pritula to our team. With our extensive engineering resources and engine building expertise, we think we can bring a lot to the table. We aren’t just going to put an Ilmor stamp on it. We are going to put our full resources behind it.”


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About the author:

Matt Trulio

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Matt Trulio is the co-publisher and editor in chief of speedonthewater.com, a daily news site with a weekly newsletter and a new bi-monthly digital magazine that covers the high-performance powerboating world. The former editor-in-chief of Sportboat magazine and editor at large of Powerboat magazine, Trulio has covered the go-fast powerboat world since 1995. Since joining boats.com in 2000, he has written more than 200 features and blogs.
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